Showing posts with label IRS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRS. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Why It's Better to Hire a Professional When Filing Your Taxes

Tax season is stressful for everyone. You have to gather all your documents, fill out the forms correctly, and hope that you didn't miss anything.

With all the complexities and changes in tax law, it can be easy to miss an opportunity to save money. That's when many people ask themselves, "Can I do this myself, or should I hire a professional?" 

While it might be tempting to do it yourself, having a professional by your side is better. This blog will explore why hiring a professional when filing your taxes is better.

Tax Laws Can Be Complicated

Tax laws are continually changing, which can make filing your taxes a daunting task. IRS publications and forms can be hard to navigate if you don't have the necessary knowledge or experience. 

A professional accountant stays updated with these changes to help you maximize deductions and credits while avoiding penalties. They can also help you with planning for future tax obligations.

Mistakes Can Be Costly

Making mistakes on your tax forms can lead to costly penalties or even an audit by the IRS. Professional cpa tax services can ensure that your taxes are filed correctly, and all necessary information is provided. 

They are also less likely to make errors because of their experience and expertise. In case of an audit, they can represent you and act as your advocate to handle the matter.

Peace of Mind

Filing your taxes with a professional gives you peace of mind, knowing that your taxes are being filed correctly and that you will receive the maximum benefit. 

You won't be stressing over whether you missed something or whether your calculations are correct. You can relax and let the professionals handle it!

They Can Save You Money

A professional accountant can help you save money in the long run. They can help you with tax planning by identifying tax-deductible expenses or making sure you are taking advantage of all available credits. They can also help you set up tax-saving strategies for the future.


Filing taxes can be time-consuming, especially when you're doing it yourself. Hiring a professional can free up your valuable time. They can handle all the paperwork and forms, giving you more time to focus on your business or other pressing matters.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, hiring a professional accountant is a smart choice when filing your taxes. A professional can navigate the complexities of tax laws, reduce the risk of errors, provide peace of mind, save you money, and save you valuable time. 

Investing in a professional accountant is an investment in yourself and your future.

Monday, November 6, 2023

What You Can Do Now to Prepare for Tax Season

Tax season is around the corner, and it’s time to start preparing for it. Tax season can be stressful, and you don't want to get caught playing catch up when April rolls around. 

From gathering documents to tracking expenses and donations, there’s much to keep track of. But don't worry – this guide will cover everything you need to do now to have a smooth and stress-free tax season.

Gather Your Documents

Start by gathering all your important financial documents, such as W2 forms, 1099 forms, and any receipts you may have made throughout the year. 

This is the perfect time to check your mailbox for tax-related documents that may have been mailed to you. When you receive your documents, store them safely and keep them organized.

Register for Tax Software

You don’t have to wait until tax season to do your taxes. Many reputable websites offer tax preparation software that you can use year-round. 

By registering early on, you'll have time to familiarize yourself with the software and get a head start on completing your taxes.

Organize Your Expenses

If you plan on deducting expenses on your tax return, it’s essential to make sure all your receipts and records are in order. Take the time now to organize them, making sure that each receipt is labeled with the correct expenditure category. 

This will help you avoid the hassle of putting together scraps of paper at the last minute, which can lead to errors and missed deductions.

Update Your Profile

It's also a good time to verify that all your personal and financial information is up-to-date in your tax software or with your accountant. 

Confirm your address, social security number, bank account information, and any other relevant details. This will ensure that your tax return is accurate and filed smoothly, avoiding any delays or potential red flags.

Review Your Investments

Finally, take the time to review your investments for the year. If you have any capital gains or losses, there may be some tax implications. Consult with your tax planning advisor or software to find the best strategy for minimizing taxes while also diversifying your portfolio.

Final Thoughts

Getting ready for tax season may seem like a daunting task, but by following these simple steps it can be a relatively easy and stress-free endeavor. 

Make sure you gather all your documents, organize your expenses, update your personal and financial information, and review your investments before waiting until the last minute to start. 

With these tasks crossed off your list, you’ll be better equipped to handle any surprises and feel more confident and in control of your financial future.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

5 Tips for Tax Season if You Aren't Sure What to Do

If you are like a lot of people, you might dread tax season. This might be particularly true if you don't know much about filing or paying taxes.

It's normal to be nervous and to feel a sense of dread when it's time to do your taxes, especially if you aren't knowledgeable on the subject. But no need to worry, as these tips for tax season can help you out a lot if you don't know what to do.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

First of all, do not wait until the last minute to start making plans to do your taxes. If you file your taxes late, you could be charged a penalty for doing so. 

Even if you don't end up filing late, you could end up feeling rushed or could be more prone to making mistakes if you wait until the last minute to file your taxes, too. 

Therefore, you should start thinking about what you need to do and how you are going to file and pay your taxes well in advance, if at all possible.

Gather as Much Documentation as Possible

Be aware that you are probably going to need quite a bit of documentation when you file your taxes. You'll need the social security number for each person you are filing on your taxes, including any dependents. 

You'll need proof of income and expenses and other documentation. Bringing along everything you need when you go get help with filing your taxes can help you avoid delays and issues. Keep sensitive documentation handy, such as W-4s, I-9s, and any charitable donations you’ve made. 

Try to keep track of any IRAs and medical funding, such as HSAs, and keep tabs on any new changes to your family, such as a new baby or a change of dependents.

Know When to Hire a Tax Lawyer

Not everyone has to hire a lawyer during tax season, but in some cases, it does pay to seek legal representation. You might need to hire a tax attorney if your tax situation is particularly complicated or if you have ever found yourself working with the IRS, for example. 

If you do think you need to hire a lawyer, make sure they have plenty of experience in helping people with taxes and that they have a good reputation.

Don't Try to Do Your Taxes On Your Own

It can be tempting to try to do your taxes on your own, especially since you might have seen advertisements for do-it-yourself tax software programs or since you might know people who claim that they do their own taxes and that it isn't difficult for them to do. 

However, you should not try to do your taxes on your own. Instead, you should hire a professional tax preparer to help you, even if you aren't going to be hiring a lawyer.

Be Truthful

Lastly, always be truthful when filling out your tax return. This can help you avoid getting audited, and it can help you avoid penalties and even legal issues with the IRS.

It's normal to not know what to do during tax season. However, these tips should guide you, even if you know little to nothing about filing your taxes, so you can go forward with a good bit of knowledge and peace of mind.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What Happens When You Fail a Tax Audit?

A tax audit is a thorough examination of your taxable income and deductions by tax attorneys to verify that your tax records are accurate. 

Detection of tax errors in your tax reports could result in heavy penalties, including imprisonment. The following are some of the things that happen whenever you fail a tax audit.

The IRS Issues You With a Written Notification

Once the tax attorneys discover that you have failed in your tax audit, they issue you with a written report informing you of the tax audit findings. 

The tax attorneys normally send their findings to you within thirty days and allow you to fill in for any appeal. The audit report usually highlights the amount that you owe and the reason why you are guilty.

Assessing the Audit Report

As soon as you receive the tax audit report, the tax attorneys expect you to analyze it and send your opinion feedback. If you determine that you are guilty, you can pay the amount you owe and terminate the case. Tax auditors assume that you plead guilty to tax offenses whenever you fail to respond to the notification.

Court Appeal

The court process begins as soon as you fail to respond to IRS notification where you are assumed to be guilty. At this stage, you are allowed to present your case and defend yourself from the litigation process. 

After this, the court of law could determine that you are guilty and you have committed a tax offense. The court judge will give you reasons as to why you are guilty and charge you accordingly.

Jail Imprisonment

The court can imprison you for a term of about one year whenever they discover that you intentionally failed to file your tax returns. You are also subject to spending five years in prison whenever the court determines that you engaged in tax evasion during a specific time.

Hefty Court Fines

You can also be fined heavily in a year for every additional tax return you do not file. The court will add another fine whenever the tax attorney establishes that you filed fraudulent tax returns.

Failing in your tax audits is a severe offense that will result in hefty fines and imprisonment. It is crucial that you file your returns on time and reveal the correct information. You can appeal against the penalties imposed by the IRS in case you fail a tax audit.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

4 Things to Keep in Mind if Your Personal Taxes Are Audited

Few terms are more dreaded than that of an audit. The ultimate boogeyman of tax season, only about .5 percent of all taxes get audited every year. If your personal taxes do get audited, though, it's good to keep a few basic facts in mind.

More than One Type of Audit

While most people refer to audits as if they're a single type of process, the truth is that there are three types of audits. The most common, the mail audit, usually just requires you to mail more paperwork to the IRS. 

The next, the in-office audit, will require you to go to an IRS office to meet with an auditor so that he or she can go over your returns in person. The final, the field audit, is incredibly in-depth and also quite unlikely to happen when dealing with an individual's taxes.

An Audit Doesn't Mean Punishment

Though an audit certainly sounds scary, it's not a punishment. Audits occur for many reasons but getting audited doesn't automatically mean that you've done something wrong. 

There might have been a big income change from year to year that's sent up a flag at the IRS or you might just have the kind of complicated taxes that bear more investigation It's entirely possible to walk away from an audit without having to pay extra money or suffer any other sort of penalties.

Take it Seriously

Though it is not necessary to panic just because you are being audited, you must take the process seriously. Mail from the IRS absolutely cannot be ignored and you should comply with any requests from the agency as expediently as possible. 

If you are having an issue gathering paperwork or you run into some other problem, you should communicate with your IRS contact as quickly as you can so that they know that you're still doing your best to comply.

Work with Professionals

Finally, it's vital to work with professionals like those at Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC and other offices. These individuals have not only been through the process of audits before, but they're experts at helping you to navigate through any difficulties that you might encounter along the way. 

Working with a seasoned tax professional is not only the best way to make sure that you don't have to worry about being audited, but also to make it through an audit unscathed.

Don't panic if you get audited. Make sure that you get professional help and that you comply with any orders from the IRS. This may be the first step in a long process so be prepared for a longer journey than you might expect.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

What You Need to Know About the Underpayment Penalty

The definition of the underpayment penalty is a tax penalty enacted on an individual for not paying enough of his or her total estimated tax and withholding. Most places of employment will withhold taxes automatically. Checking a pay stub will show how much tax has been deducted and paid to the state and federal so people can keep track of it for their records.

How Do You Get an Underpayment Penalty?

Taxes can be confusing when multiple streams of income are coming in and estimating how much tax should be withheld from each one. The penalties come about when an estimated amount of the income you've made isn't paid to the IRS. 

Taxes from income are estimated on a quarterly basis and normally paid out before the quarter is up. These taxes can be applied to rent, self-employment, interest, etc. Basically, any source of money coming in or out is taxable.

The underpayment penalty comes into play when not enough of the estimated tax has been paid each quarter. This doesn't mean the IRS is going to come at you full force if you don't pay enough tax each quarter, weren't aware of it, or didn't have enough money to pay.

What Do You Do When Faced with the Penalty?

Whether your income comes in from a side business or somewhere else, if you do accrue a penalty the first step is communicating with the IRS. Finding out how much you owe in taxes and whether or not the penalty can be forgiven depends on your financial situation. People facing the penalty for the first time due to an error and not neglecting the responsibility will face less harsh consequences.

Making an appointment with a tax attorney at this point would be in your best interests, especially if you owe a significant amount to the IRS. Every financial situation is different and a tax attorney can help you navigate how much you need to pay back in taxes. 

Penalties can increase the amount you owe the IRS the longer the taxes go unpaid, so you want to get in touch with the IRS as soon as possible to pursue the best course of action.

Underpayment tax is calculated by income earned and the amount owed, and when penalties come into play the amount can easily increase. If, for example, you were unable to pay taxes last year due to not having enough money, you can most likely arrange a payment plan with the IRS to pay off the different amount. 

Keep in mind, there are also exceptions where the underpayment penalty will be waived depending on certain circumstances, like a natural disaster, paid at least 90% of taxes owed, etc. Investopedia does a great break down of exceptions of the situations and circumstances of when the penalty can be waived.

How Do You Avoid the Penalty?

The best way to avoid the underpayment penalty is to keep records of each source of income coming in and estimating the taxes needed to be paid on both. If you have multiple sources of income, whether from self-employment, rent, etc., you may want to talk to an accountant to help you keep track of how much is owed. 

If not, you can pay taxes quarterly for each source of income so the amount doesn't evolve into a landslide.

Make sure to pay each amount by their due dates and don't be late on payments. If for any reason you suspect you'll be unable to pay the estimated amount of taxes, be sure to get in touch with a tax attorney and explain the situation to them. 

They can advise you on the best course of action to avoid falling under the penalty, or get in touch with the IRS to let them know about the situation. The worst thing you can do is to not pay the taxes and ignore it hoping the problem will go away on its own.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Facing the IRS Make Sure You Have A Qualified Tax Attorney

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service offic...
Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service office in midtown New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Literally dozens of questions can be asked of a tax attorney in Los Angeles. Some of the most important are included within the context of this article. A tax attorney can help you to avoid jail time for long-term tax evasion in some cases and can also help you to reduce payments, interest or even settle on a smaller amount for repayment. Getting in trouble with the IRS is not something you want to do as an individual or as a business owner. 

How to Make a Payment Plan with the IRS to Avoid Penalties and Tax Evasion

After preparing your taxes, you may not know quite how to go about working out a payment plan with the IRS when you owe a considerable amount. It is ideal to seek the help of an attorney as they better understand the policies, laws and restrictions that may be put in place in order to make a feasible payment plan. 

Penalties That Can be assessed

Penalties, mostly from interest, can be assessed when you do not adhere to the agreement with the IRS, are late filing or are late paying. Other penalties can be put into place depending on your situation; some serious penalties can include a wage garnishment or a bank account garnishment. The IRS can also put a lien on your vehicle and/or property until the monies owed are paid.

How to Avoid Penalties

You will want to ask your attorney how to avoid penalties. The attorney may suggest filing for an extension to give you more time to prepare your taxes. In most cases, this is a six month extension. At this time, you must at least have your return filed. The return does not have to include payment at this time. 

How to Keep Better Tax Records

An attorney may be able to help you better organize your tax files. You should ask how to organize receipts and expense reports in order to properly calculate these items into your itemized deductions better. You should also ask what items to disregard keeping records for as some items cannot be deducted.

What Items Need to Be Kept and for How Long?

Generally speaking, tax records should be kept for at least 5-years. This means that you will want to keep all items used to file taxes in a box in storage or in files on a computer for at least five years. This should be items such as W-2’s, 1099s and any other documents proving income or revenues. You should also keep utility reports, vehicle usage reports, business expenses, office supplies and equipment purchased to name a few items.

Keep these questions in mind when you seek the help of a tax attorney. It is also a good idea to keep a list of questions written down to take with you or bring up in a phone conversation. The only way that you are going to better understand what can get you in trouble and how to avoid making mistakes in the future is to ask.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Start Filing Your Tax Return With These 6 Steps

IRS Form W-9
IRS Form W-9 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Neda Jafarzadeh, a financial analyst with NerdWallet Investing. NerdWallet helps consumers make better financial decisions and compare total costs to find the best broker for their needs. 

If you haven’t already started preparing your 2012 tax returns, you will want to get started as the April 15th deadline is fast approaching. To get started, consider the following six tips: 

Tip 1: Know If You Need to File

If you aren’t sure whether you need to be filing a tax return for 2012, the IRS has a page that helps you decide whether or not you need to be filing. If you’ve decided that you do not need to file a tax return, keep in mind that you won’t be able to take advantage of the various credits that would otherwise be available to you. For example, if you made less than $50,270 in 2012, you may quality for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), or if you were a college student in 2012 or your dependent was a student, you may be eligible to receive the American Opportunity Tax Credit. 

Tip 2: Taxable vs. Nontaxable Income

While most types of earned income is subject to taxation, other types such as child support payments, gifts, inheritances and welfare benefits, are not. In addition, keep in mind that if you received a refund, credit or offset from the state, you may be required to include that as income even if you did not receive a Form 1900-G. To learn more about what income is subject to taxation, check Publication 525 on the IRS page. 

Tip 3: Finding Forms and Publications

There are numerous ways you can get the forms you need to file your tax return. One way is it get the forms online or by phone if you call 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday and request that they be mailed to you. You can even find the forms at your local post office or public library. 

Tip 4: Don’t Get Scammed

Tax scams are more common than you might think and the IRS has gone to great lengths to educate the public on recognizing and reporting these scams. If you aren’t sure whether you’ve fallen victim to a scam, the IRS has set up case scenarios to help you identify common scams, usually involving phone scams or identity theft. If you know you have fallen victim to a scam, you can use Form 3949-A to report it to the IRS. 

Tip 5: Get Help

If you are planning on using a DIY tax software, make sure you read customer reviews for the tool to see if your needs will be appropriately satisfied. NerdWallet also ran a comparison of the top two softwares available H&R Block and TurboTax, so feel free to reference that resource as well. If you plan to hire a professional tax preparer, do check his qualifications by asking for his Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN). 

Tip #6: Use Tax Credits Available to Parents

If you are a parent, be sure to look into the tax credits that are available to you like the Child and Dependent Tax Credit. You should be eligible to receive this credit if you have a child under the age of 13 and had to pay for a caretaker while you went to work or while you looked for work.

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